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Taxi drivers slam 'poorly-designed' access road at Wolverhampton train station

By Jamie Brassington | Wolverhampton | Transport | Published:

Angry taxi drivers claim Wolverhampton railway station's "poorly designed" access road will lead to fatalities unless the council urgently acts.

Drivers are reporting that collisions, heated exchanges and long queues are a regular occurrence due to congestion caused by the road layout.

The station's access road, which features a taxi drop-off and collection point, was redesigned two-years-ago as part of an ongoing £130 million revamp of the station.

But despite raising concerns back then, Wolverhampton councillor Paul Singh said: "These problems are still happening now.

Queues as seen in 2017

"They are caused by a bad road layout which is a clear design fault.

"Passengers in taxis open out doors into the road, and doors get knocked off every other day. There is an accident here every other day. And the drivers will back that up."

The concerns are that the access road is too narrow, it has sharp and hazardous edges on curbstones, and the drop-off point and collection point endangers passengers and drivers.

The new road entrance is accessed through Corn Hill and it opened on January 8, 2017. The former access road was Railway Drive which closed to the public.

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Taxi drivers and councillor Paul Singh (third from right) outside the access road of Wolverhampton train station

Drivers claim to have raised the matter with Wolverhampton Council bosses but they say no-one is listening to them.

Taxi driver Parminder Singh, who is chairman of Wolverhampton's taxi association, said: "The volume of traffic far exceeds what the access road can handle. Whoever planned it didn't do the job properly.

"When the congestion takes place, everyone gets irate and it kicks off. No one can get in and no one can get out.

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"Taxi drivers get abuse. Three or four weeks ago, a traffic marshall from the council got attacked by an irate member of the public.

"The system also makes it dangerous for passengers and pedestrians using the access road. This needs urgently looking at before someone gets seriously injured or killed."

The congestion takes place during rush hour. It can also mean an increase in fares for taxi passengers, as the meter rises while taxis are unable to move in the congested traffic.

Mr Singh claims neither West Midlands Railway nor Wolverhampton Council are interested in listening to the concerns.

He added: "Passengers keep asking us 'when is the access road going to be finished?' And we keep saying 'it is finished'. But they don't believe us."

Construction is still underway on other parts of the train station.

The £130m project, called Wolverhampton Interchange, will see the Midland Metro extended from St George's and brought through to the train station.

The work, which has seen roadworks in place to lay the tracks, is set for completion in 2020.

Wolverhampton Council spokesman Oliver Bhurrut said: “We are aware of some concerns relating to how the railway station turnaround space currently operates.

“The Wolverhampton One Interchange working group – made up of representatives from West Midlands Railway, who operate the space, Transport for West Midlands and City of Wolverhampton Council - has been established to consider these issues and what action might be appropriate to ensure the wider station area operates as safely and efficiently as possible both now and in the future.

“Work is continuing on the development of the new station building and Metro extension, and discussions are ongoing about any additional physical works and alterations that might be necessary to improve operations in the turnaround area, so they can be timetabled to coincide with the wider development programme.”

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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